Use your words…even when you’re crying.

I used to tell my little girls that all the time. Use your words to show how you feel, not tears or fists or tantrums. So allow me to use mine to explain why I cry today. It’s not about the car, the old white mini van with scratched paint and a window that won’t roll down. It’s not the engine that was worth, in the heartless pages of a blue book, only a few dollars. It wasn’t trading away that aged vehicle today that set my tears in motion.

It was the little Barbie purse I found in the back seat of that old van, a small leftover from the dolls that went with us everywhere. The CD player that never worked quite right? Now no one will know that it was thanks to a wee one who pushed a dime into the slot when we were killing time before some swim lesson or park play date. And that special CD, the one that sang songs about Emily and made her beam with pride, finding that shifted something in my heart. It was the stain on the carpet from a juice box dropped long ago, perhaps after a zoo trip when little red cheeked girls fell asleep in car seats on the way home, blond hair stuck sweaty to their foreheads.
It’s not the car. It’s the knowledge that I am not the mini van mom anymore. I am not the woman with little children in tow, always ready with a bag of goldfish and an extra set of clothes tucked under the seats just in case. I am not that mom with soothing answers to all questions, able to magically whip out a snack at the perfect moment. I am not that mom, not anymore.
Now there is texting and laughing in our new vehicle, the one with the buttons that I can’t figure out. Middle school play practice and high school games replace zoo trips and Mommy and Me swim classes. I am the driver, the quiet chauffeur, who listens to the young women chattering in my car, silent and reliable, watching my girls turn into adults via the rear view mirror.
I am not that mom anymoreDSC00142.

And they are not little girls.

And the tears are not about the car.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bn100 on July 27, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Nice story

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  2. Posted by Bob on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 am

    And, Fathers also have memories more highly valued than gold….reading stories to little girls, saying our prayers before going to sleep, and hugging a little one who somehow always managed to steal your heart, again!

    An Old Dad

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  3. Posted by Suzan Michet on July 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Good perspective Heidi !
    I find that with a lot of “things” Dana – it’s not the things that I miss, but the memories. A friend put me on to the idea of taking pictures of the things – be it children’s artwork, pillows, whatever – so that I would stop being such a hoarder, but still be able to keep the memories. Now I make scrapbooks. I think writing blogs about the memories works too.

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  4. And there will come a day when you’ll want a van again, and carry bags of Goldfish, and dig out all the kids’ music, but the faces in the back seat will be calling you Nana.

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